Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Future flooding disasters to be averted by maths

28.09.2006
Oxford researchers have won funding to improve the usefulness of weather predictions regarding the probability and extent of extreme rainfall. This will help hydrologists, civil engineers, policy-makers and government to take appropriate measures to protect buildings and people from the devastating effects of extreme floods such that in Boscastle, Cornwall, 2004.

The new £300,000 research project at Oxford University is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

'What we are doing is bringing together, for the first time, three different areas of science: mathematics, supercomputer weather prediction, and historical data’, Dr Patrick McSharry at Oxford University's Department of Engineering Science said.

‘We are using advanced mathematical techniques which were originally developed for a different application. This helps us to improve the predictions we can make based on data that has already been collected. To do this we are using the vast computing power provided by new weather models. For example, there is a limit to the accuracy of data collection and tiny measurement errors can lead to increasing forecast uncertainty as you look further into the future.

'So if we can improve the mathematics to handle the uncertainty in the data and models, we can improve the accuracy of the predictions for people such as engineers and policy-makers.'

The new mathematical prediction techniques to be used in the study will be developed in collaboration with researchers at the Said Business School, who were originally looking to improve models for forecasting electricity demand.

The techniques will be used in conjunction with the output from a state-of-the-art supercomputer weather model at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

The data, on which the work will be based, will come from the largest record of historical data of UK rainfall patterns, which date back as far as 1860 when weather records were produced by amateur enthusiasts. It will be the first time that researchers will have access to this vast amount of data in electronic format. It will be made available by a specialist hydrologist at Hydro-GIS Ltd.

Dr Harvey Rodda, of Hydro-GIS said: ‘Accurate rainfall predictions are needed as part of the information used to design measures to protect houses built in areas which are most vulnerable to flooding. The connection between rain and flooding is complicated. It is not enough just to predict rainfall depth, but prediction must also say how likely rain is at any time, which means calculating the probability of rainfall. Another element is the pattern of rainfall – for example, for the severe floods in Boscastle in 2004 and those on the Thames in 2003, the causes and pattern of rainfall was different, so scientists need to know what pattern of rainfall caused the flooding.’

The research will also produce an automatic system for discovering the most likely pattern in the predicted rainfalls. The new prediction system and data will be freely available over the internet for use by hydrologists, civil engineers, government policy-makers and researchers.

Barbara Hott | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ox.ac.uk
http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/samp/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>